在PEI的國高中英文課程的設計裡, 閱讀是沒有邊際的; 我們不僅能獨具慧眼的選出口碑票房都好的青少年讀物 (如目前我們正在閱讀的"The Hunger Games" 飢餓遊戲, 目前全世界銷售量已超越兩千六百萬本, 電影即將在下週上映,) 更能將觸角伸到教科書都極少觸及的話題: 像是"ㄧ探十大好萊塢電影公式秘辛," “認識政府與政治的第一堂課: 三權分立 v. 五權分立," “世界又熱又平又擠的書摘 – Energy Poverty 能源匱乏" 還有我們上個禮拜所介紹給大家的, 一個人工智慧 (Artificial Intelligence) 普及化的先驅: Say Hello to Siri!
On March 17th, the students were introduced to their new software friend, Siri. Currently available on the iPhone 4S as a personal assistant and search-tool, Siri must be spoken to in clear English in order to respond to commands. Typically, these involve things like making appointments, writing notes and messages, and searching for answers on the web without having to type. We focused on the latter during class time, with each class being divided into two groups in a friendly competition using a task list worksheet as their guide.
搶在蘋果電腦尚未推出 Siri 中文版之前, 我們特別設計了ㄧ堂課要中學部的同學們, 試試用英文駕馭這套會令人上癮的軟體. 藉由 Vitural Scavenger Hunt (虛擬尋寶)的活動, 老師要求學生捉隊對抗, 在限定的時間內向Siri拷問出問題的答案.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
During this virtual scavenger hunt, the students had to ask Siri questions from six categories: definitions, translations, famous people, cities and states in the Untied States, measurement conversions, and stock prices. For this class, using correct grammar was only half the battle, with the more difficult half being pronunciation.
“Do You Love Me?"
Siri is known for having trouble even with some native English accents, the Boston accent’s peculiar “-ar” sound and the American South’s drawl being two examples. In order to be understood, the students had to annunciate each word clearly, loudly…and sometimes very patiently. When Siri gets confused she can produce some bizarre results. She was also on the receiving end of some unexpected comments with one student asking, or perhaps pleading, “Do you love me?”
Silliness aside, working with Siri was a nice relaxed moment for the students where they could focus on being heard and hearing each other speak, while learning some new things in the process.
當然, 這項活動的最主要目的是讓同學們能在進入21世紀之後, 第一手接觸到AI人工智慧在生活的應用可行性與範疇. 或許是受限於這軟體在口音辨識上的不盡完善, 玩著玩著竟然有同學說出 “Do You Love Me?" 向 Siri 表達愛慕之意! 對大多數人而言, 花不上三分鐘就能讓人迷上電腦迷個死心蹋地; 但想要讓Siri拜倒在血肉之軀之下, 她還迷迷糊糊的在狀況外, 丈二金剛摸不著頭腦的問出"How Can I Tell?"